Hybrid Cloud’s Need for Speed
As more businesses are moving data to the cloud and outside of corporate walls, and more data is being generated via the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s turning into a hybrid world.
Not only does data need to be put into context that crosses company and geographical boundaries, making for a distributed infrastructure, but the window of time when the magic must happen is also shrinking.
Cost savings is part of the hybrid story (optimizing what workloads go where based on cost), the bigger picture involves optimizing the user experience (maximizing what workloads go where based on provided value). Whether it be an employee with a back-office application, a developer in need of compute resources on the fly, or a consumer on a shopping spree, it all needs to happen in or near real time.
“Everything is becoming hybrid,” said IBM cloud CTO Danny Sabbah. “Businesses are looking at context-based, intelligent applications. They want to create a more personalized experience for clients. But there is a three-to-seven second rule.”
Sabbah gives an example of a brick-and-mortar video game store that wants to deliver a targeted experience. “When that client walks in, they want all the screens to fundamentally change based on who walked in and their proclivity to buy something. It needs to happen in three to seven seconds. ”
The company is betting on smart applications with smarter contextualization built on hybrid infrastructure. This is the rationale behind IBM’s recently announced multi-billion dollar Internet of Things investment: it’s not the cloud, but the data in that cloud that is important. It was also the rationale for adding Watson functionality into Bluemix so developers could add new Watson-type functionality, and for signing partnerships with The Weather Channel and Twitter so enterprises could tap into those knowledge clouds. An airline can use weather data to optimize its flights and the customer experience, for example.
Finally, Qubole provides a data platform that helps companies leverage smart data sets in public clouds, and CEO Ashesh Thusoo says he sees data sharing as a strong emerging use case.
A recent survey reveals that close to half of enterprises are already employing hybrid cloud, though McVey believes that this is true mainly for static workloads at the present. However, he expects to see dynamic use cases growing.
Hybrid doesn’t only mean connected mixed clouds within an enterprise, it means connected and mixed data clouds. Service providers are building and providing the infrastructure and platform for that to happen.
It’s no secret that everyone across IT infrastructure land is betting on hybrid. While putting the right data in the right cost model and setting up and optimizing IT spend were the initial benefits of hybrid, it’s now ultimately about the customer or consumer of that data.
The IT infrastructure industry provides the framework and cogs to make it a reality. Internet of Things generates more meaningful data; and APIs drive a hyper-connected world to provide an optimized experience for individuals in both consumer and business worlds.